From Pipi’s Pasture: Welcome to the Country School Reunion

Diane Prather
Diane Prather

This week’s “From Pipi’s Pasture” salutes former Moffat County country school students and teachers and welcomes everyone to the very first Country School Reunion to be held today, June 13, at the Moffat County Fairgrounds. A special welcome goes to those who have come from out of town for the event; that includes my sister Charlotte Allum and her husband John of Fort Collins.

By 11 a.m. people will be registering for the reunion, pictures will be taken, and everyone will be sharing old photos and reminiscing about school days of the past. Already I am intrigued by the information that’s being collected about the number of country schools in the county. Each time I talk with someone about the reunion — just last night, in fact — another school name pops up. That there should have been so many schools in the area shouldn’t be so surprising to me. It was necessary to have schools located close to communities so that kids could attend; I just never thought how many schools that involved.

There are so many curiosities about all of the schools. Reunion reminiscing will help answer lots of questions, including these:

• Over the years, which students attended various schools, and who taught them?

• How did the children get to school?

• Where did the teachers live?

• Whose responsibility was it to haul in coal, wood, and water?

• What were the teacher’s “housekeeping” duties, and what time did she/he have to get up in the morning to get everything done?

• What was included in the curriculum, and what books were used?

• When did schools start using “Dick and Jane” books? If they weren’t used, how did little kids learn to read?

• Who provided school supplies, such as tablets, art paper, penmanship paper, and crayons?

• Did each school have its own school board? How were teachers paid? How often did the school superintendent visit the schools?

• What games did the students play during recess? Did the teacher play with them?

• What did the teacher do about unruly kids?

• How often did a blizzard come up in the winter, and what happened if kids were caught at school?

• Did the county hold spelling bees?

• What programs and other celebrations were held at school, such as Christmas programs?

• How often did teaching involve a married couple; if so, did they both teach at the school?

• Were kids required to take standardized tests?

All of these questions, and a lot more, will be answered during the Country School Reunion!

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